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Colophon

Colophon

Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects.

The animal on the cover of Practical RDF is a secretary bird. It is a bird of prey and is related to the hawk. It is so named because the crest of feathers located at the back of its head are thought to resemble quill pens, which were carried by male secretaries in the 19th century. It stands between 3 and 4 feet tall, and has mostly gray feathers, except for its wing tips and legs, which are black, and its face, which has orange and yellow markings.

Although it can fly quite well, the secretary bird tends to spend most of its time on the ground. It lives off a diet of snakes, insects, and any small animal that might be easily swallowed. The bird usually kills its prey by beating it with its feet, using its long wings to protect itself from counterattacks. These birds tend to choose one mate for life, and also remain loyal to their nest site. Instead of leaving, they add to the nest each year; nests can grow up to eight feet long. The secretary bird lays two to three eggs at a time, of which the incubation is about 45 days. The baby birds leave home at around eight weeks.


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